Express & Star

Aston Villa chief Christian Purslow: We’ve not found way to finish

Villa chief executive Christian Purslow has claimed the Premier League remains ‘nowhere near’ a workable restart plan with discussions set to continue over the weekend.

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Top-flight clubs are due to hold their next conference call on Monday, though a vote over Project Restart is now not expected to take place, providing clubs with additional time to discuss proposals with managers and players.

Villa sit 19th in the table and are eager to resume the season, with Purslow confident an agreement on a resumption can be reached. The club are conscious they are by not guaranteed to avoid relegation even if the campaign cannot be completed.

But they will continue to argue against any proposals they believe place them at a disadvantage, such as the use of neutral venues. Purslow has also suggested clubs should be able to postpone matches if key players test positive for the coronavirus.

“There are a lot of teams mathematically capable of going down whose squads can’t survive three or four players falling ill, not being able to play,” he said.

“If Villa had to a play a match without Jack Grealish, Tyrone Mings and John McGinn, the chances of winning that game reduce enormously.

“I don’t know what the solution is. I’d obviously like a rule that says we don’t have to play if our best players had Covid. We’re trying to complete a league quite quickly to give our broadcasters a product they want to show but how does it really work if after two games everybody’s off?”

He added: “We’re nowhere near having found the formula to complete the season.

“I’m told how keen government are to get football back. I remain of the view that we’re going to complete this season and it’s a question of ‘when and how?’ Not ‘if’.”